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What Did Your Fathers and Grandfathers Smoke?

(102 posts)
  1. sittingbear

    sittingbear

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    I'm sure this has been discussed a number of times already, but I am unable to find anything on it so please forgive me if I'm beating a dead horse.

    I've always been interested in what people smoked in past generations. When people tell me their father or grandfather smoked a pipe back in the "good ol' days," I always ask them if they knew what blend they smoked. I don't know why; maybe it's just the classicist in me doing his research. (BTW, the most common responses I receive are "Cherry" and "I have no idea.") However, with Nanny McFDA's regulations looming large and the curtailing of choices to those prior to 2007, the question has been on my mind a bit more lately, so I pose the question to you, brothers and sisters of the briar!

    What blends did your fathers/grandfathers/grandmothers/uncles/whomever smoke? I'm sure it was mostly what was available at the local drug store, but I'm looking for more info than that. Do you remember if it was an aromatic? Lat-heavy blend? Do you recall seeing Prince Albert sitting on the coffee table next to his chair? Did their house smell of vanilla?

    Please share your memories!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. derfatdutchman

    derfatdutchman

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    My grandfather smoked mostly Prince Albert with the occasional tin of Sir Walter Raleigh. Still have a few of his empty PA tins.

    "The value of tobacco is best understood when it is the last you possess, and there is no chance of getting more."
    Bismark
    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. coda

    coda

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    My great-grandfather smoked Half and Half. Both of my grandfathers smoked a pipe at some point: one smoked a vanilla cherry blend, and the other smoked either Granger, Half and Half, or Middleton's Cherry, depending...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. bryguysc

    bryguysc

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    Mostly old Sir Walter Raleigh cans and some Prince Albert cans around my grandad's old shop. I never saw him with a pipe, so I guess it was my great-grandad.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. didimauw

    didimauw

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    My grandpa smoked Kentucky Club Aromatic. He had many pipes, mostly Grabows and 1 nice Meerschaum, but only smoked Kentucky club.

    "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. clickklick

    clickklick

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    Plow Boy!

    I have a sealed 8 oz can waiting for a special occasion.

    Hobbyist Pipemaker - Carmette Pipes
    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. mcitinner1

    mcitinner1

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    Plow Boy!

    I have a sealed 8 oz can waiting for a special occasion.

    Nice! I'm jealous as hell. My Dad and Uncles all smoked the regular OTC's.

    Stan
    Godfrey Daniels!!
    The Plenipotent Key to Cope's Correct Card of the Peerless Pilgrimage to Saint Nicotine of the Holy Herb:
    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. leacha

    leacha

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    My father smoked Paul Mall cigs.

    My grandfather (mother side) didn't smoke. But out of his seven kids my mother was the only one who didn't smoke. The rest smoked cigs except for my Uncle who smoked Walnut.

    My grandfather (father side) smoked Edgeworth. His five children smoked cigs.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. tbradsim1

    tbradsim1

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    My Grandfather smoked Bull Durham in the little sacks with the string, I wanted to so Badly to be able to pull the string on the little bag with my teeth like him. My Father smoked Camels, we had an Uncle who was a cig Bum and Dad had a pack of Between The Ax cigs just for him, they were super,super potent and he only bummed a couple from my Dad. He took his bumming elsewhere.

    The Old Cajun
    Posted 2 years ago #
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    cfreud

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    Grandpa smoked basket pipes and Amphora. (Not exactly my taste, but to each his own.) Pop mercifully turned toward English/oriental/latakia style tobaccos (Dunhill 15300 rings a bell), and liked Dunhills and Barlings. I continue said tradition and have expanded on both the collection of tobacco and what I consider "our" pipes.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. ray47

    ray47

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    I was told that back in the 40's & 50's my great grandfather smoked tins of Prince Albert and only that blend. My uncle smoked Half & Half. They were the only pipe smokers in the family, other then me of course.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. irish

    Gary

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    Dad never smoked . Granddad smoked a pipe and always Prince Albert .

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    framitz

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    My father smoked non filter lucky strikes and my grandfather smoked regents. My uncle smoked everything available after ww 2 from drug stores to local pipe shops mostly all the new stuff from Flying Dutchman Haines blend amphora but in nice pipes charatans du hills and castellos. I inherit item all. Shel

    Posted 2 years ago #
  14. condorlover1

    condorlover1

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    Condor Plug, Bondman, brown twist. Before the 1890s I guess whatever else the stores/local pub sold

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. bobpnm

    bobpnm

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    Half & Half, Prince Albert and Carter Hall.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. tinsel

    tinsel

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    My parents are both cigarette smokers.

    My grandfather on my mother's side told me once that he smoked cigarettes as a very young man but gave them up in his early 20's. The first time he ever saw me with a pipe, he said "I tried smoking a pipe once, but it burned my tongue and I didn't like it"

    My Grandfather on my dad's side was a cigarette smoker. My dad's stepfather either smoked cigs or used dip my whole life, but when he saw me with a pipe the first time he mentioned that he smoked a pipe for many years. He apparently liked Prince Albert or Half&Half in his pipe

    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. sittingbear

    sittingbear

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    I guess I could respond to my own question, huh? No one in my family smoked a pipe, as far as I know, so I didn't bother, but since the category can include cigs, etc., here's my two cents...

    My grandpa (mom's side) smoked the occasional White Owl cigar we would get him for father's day at the local store. I used to love to chew on the plastic tips and taste the tobacco flabor (after he had thoroughly washed it, of course!). He also taught me how to make a corn cob pipe. Everyone else smoked cigarettes.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. phil67

    phil67

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    When I was a child I remember my great uncle and grandfather smoking a pipe (early 50's) and I loved the smell. Not really sure what tobacco it was, but obviously some OTC such as PA, CH or Granger. Whatever tobacco it was I do remember one thing... the pipe wasn't made of glass.

    ~I started out with nothing, and still have most of it.~
    Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company. Mark Twain
    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. schaum

    schaum

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    Dad smoked Prince Albert and Half & Half most of the time. I remember him hand rolling Top tobacco into cigarettes from the big yellow tub, and on occasion would smoke it in a pipe,,,,he only had three.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. newbroom

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    Gramps usually smoked Days 'o Work, cut off with a pocket knife and rubbed out in his hands. Dad smoked a pipe once in awhile but it wasn't something he seemed to care much about...he smoked mostly camels....
    Several times, in my youth, I would buy a cheap pipe and some tobacco or another and try to smoke, but I always gave up with a quickness. I tried the typical stuff sold on every corner...and still have trouble with half and half. I won't even try Borkum Riff or Middleton's Cherry Blend. (I'll probably be singing their praises next week)

    Posted 2 years ago #
  21. jmatt

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    My dad was a Borkum Riff smoker. I asked, but even he didn't remember which variety.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    shutterbugg

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    My grandfather smoked cigars and my father smoked cigarettes, although he quit when I was 7 and never took it up again. He said he tried a pipe before I was born but didn't like it. I still have his meer, great smoker, must be 70-75 years old by now. I only took up the pipe in college because the girls in class hated the cigar but loved the smell of a pipe. Or so they thought, until I lit up a lat-forward English and taught those brats a lesson. Went back to cigars for many years, then back to the pipe when the Gen-X morons made cigar smoking "a hobby" and drove the price of a decent cigar through the roof.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  23. phxrock

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    @ClickClick, I would love to find a pouch of Plow Boy. I haven't had it since the early 70's. It was a good smoking/chewing tobacco.

    My Grandfather smoked Half/Half. An Uncle smoked Velvet. My mother and StepFather did the ciggs.

    John R

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    pappap

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    My Grand father smoked Prince Albert and my Uncle smoked Edgewoth

    Posted 2 years ago #
  25. pappymac

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    My dad was a cigarette smoker. The only grandfather I knew was a pipe smoker. At one time he smoked only George Washington from what I was told.

    I am glad we have a good admin and responsible moderators.

    Heave to you dark colored ship under sail! Prepare to be boarded!
    Posted 2 years ago #
  26. jcsoldit

    JC

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    My Dad smoked Sir Walter Raleigh, Flying Dutchman, and Captain Black White. The ladies at his offices loved the smell of CBW.

    As an example to others, and not that I care for moderation myself, it has always been my rule never to smoke when asleep, and never to refrain from smoking when awake.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  27. tuold

    tuold

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    My grandfather only smoked Prince Albert. I still have the last opened can of it had just before he died back in 1994. Surprisingly, it's still quite smokable. I'll take a pinch in one of his old pipes in remembrance this weekend.

    The pipe is an instrument of civilization.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  28. stephenw

    stephenw

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    When my father smoked he smoked Chesterfield cigarettes. His father smoked a pipe and although he quit long before I was born, dad told me he smoked Cutty tobacco. My mom's father used tobacco in many ways. He dipped Old Square snuff, smoked those little Parodi cigars and when he smoked a pipe he smoked Flying Dutchman. When I started smoking a pipe I would frequently get a tin of Flying Dutchman just to have a feeling of closeness to my grandfather. By the time I smoking, Cutty was no longer available.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  29. beerandbaccy

    beerandbaccy

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    My Dad smoked these:

    (I found these last summer unopened in his loft)



    plus Dunhill Early Morning Pipe and Three Nuns and Plumcake

    "I'd rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate"- George Burns
    Posted 2 years ago #
  30. ahmadothman

    Ahmad Othman

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    Both my granddads smoked cigarettes, same for my paternal grandmother.. and my father as well, but he smoked the occasional pipe and it was exclusively Captain Black Cherry

    “I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgement in all human affairs.” - Albert Einstein
    Posted 2 years ago #
  31. yohanan

    yohanan

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    My Father smoked Prince Albert, with an occasional pouch of SWR to break things up a little. He mainly smoked Kaywoodie pipes.


    Smoke What You Like, And Like What You Smoke...Regardless Of What Anyone Else Thinks...
    Posted 2 years ago #
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    noquarter

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    My paternal grandfather smoked cigs,rolled his own cigars/cigarillos and probably smoked whatever is available on his pipe. A few steps away from their home is a tobacco/corn field.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  33. jndyer

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    Not sure exactly what my grandfather smoked; however, I distinctly remember that he has some straight stemmed black rusticated pipe and a large white tub of tobacco. Since he lived in a very small lumber mill town I assume that it was an OTC blend and am inclined to believe that it was Captain Black.

    I had an uncle, my grandfather's brother, who smoked old burly blend like PA, Granger, Paladin, ect. What is amazing is that he often would set around the campfire and make his own corn cob pipe. After fashioning the bowl he would take a long piece of metal and heat it in the fire to burn/bore a whole in a random piece of twig he whittled for the stem. This would be in addition to the one briar pipe he had.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  34. drrock

    drrock

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    The main tobacco I remember my grandfather (who gave me my first pipe a long time ago) smoking is Mixture 79!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  35. zekest

    zekest

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    As far as I know, there were no pipe smokers in my family.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  36. huntertrw

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    During a brief period when my late father dabbled with the pipe he preferred Douwe Egbert's Amphora Extra Mild Cavendish (blue tin). His father, a confirmed pipe-smoker, alternated between The American Tobacco Company's Half-and-Half and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company's Prince Albert. My maternal grandfather was also a pipe-smoker, but passed before I was born, and I do not know what were his preferences in pipe-tobacco.

    Love Me, Love My Pipe
    Posted 2 years ago #
  37. skraps

    skrapsoftobacco

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    Gramps didn't smoke a pipe, but my Uncle did. He had plenty of cans of Half & Half around the workshop, so I assume that was part of his consumption at some point. 1Q or BCA was his regular when I was growing up though.

    He had a jar of BCA next to his chair, always with a slice of apple in it. I assume to keep it more moist than it already was.

    "People are not made better by a briar. An idiot before smoking a pipe is still an idiot after smoking a pipe, they're just more likely to speak less drivel with something in their mouth. For that, all society should be grateful."

    - Bob Runowski
    Posted 2 years ago #
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    michiganlover

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    My grandfather smoked machine made cigars like White Owl, cigarrettes, and a pipe. He made roll your own cigarettes as well. He smoked the same tobacco in his cigarettes as his pipe. Since he was a farmer turned machine shop owner, and lived through the Great Depression, it was likely whatever he could find cheapest at the local store. I had a sample of it, and it's not any of the common OTC pipe tobaccos.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  39. hawky454

    hawky454

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    My father-in-law smoke Captain Black cut with Latakia. He told me he had tried tons of blends from all over the world and that particular combo was his favorite. It's not bad actually but definitely not a favorite of mine.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  40. coda

    coda

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    My father-in-law smoke Captain Black cut with Latakia. He told me he had tried tons of blends from all over the world and that particular combo was his favorite. It's not bad actually but definitely not a favorite of mine.

    Sounds like he would like Boswell's Northwoods...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  41. philobeddoe

    Philo Beddoe

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    Not family, but the pipe smokers I looked up to as a kid, were the old timers with briars, they wore suits and proper hats. I would see them to and fro, they always seemed to smell the same to me, a smell I later realized was Captain Black. I still keep a tub of Captain Black White around, it's a nice way to reconnect with fond memories.....also my wife adores the room note.

    "So it goes." - K.V.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  42. hawky454

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    Sounds like he would like Boswell's Northwoods...

    Exactly. It's the same idea.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  43. mso489

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    My dad smoked Granger for most of fifty years, age 15 to about 65 when he quit cold turkey. There were a few years when he switched off to King Edward Cigars. His dad smoked pipes, but he kept the tobacco in an amber tobacco jar in the center of his ten-pipe pipe rack so I never saw the brand. My mom's dad smoked White Owl cigars, mostly, and sometimes fancier ones. I now have my paternal grandfather's pipe rack (with amber tobacco jar), inherited through my dad.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  44. loneredtree

    loneredtree

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    Not sure about the other men that I knew smoked a pipe but a friend's father smoked London dock, which he called London Dump, and I think Mixture 79. My grand father did not smoke.

    There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable. Mark Twain

    “Very few people are focusing on the potential damage this ill-conceived and hastily assembled homage to the ability of bureaucrats to conceive of all manner of problems where problems don't exist then apply solutions to those problems that only create new problems without solving the original problems at all will bring to many sectors.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  45. doctorbob

    doctorbob

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    Given the number of rectangular tins in his garage, edgeworth sliced. Although my sister identifies the smell of captain black with him. I think he had a polite tobacco for indoor use and edgeworth when he was quitting cigarettes.

    Doc

    Posted 2 years ago #
  46. bentmike

    bentmike

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    My dad smoked Captain Black and Borkum Riff. Occasionally a shop house blend in Vanilla or cherry. Mainly he was and still to this day a cigarette smoker. One grandpa did not smoke and the other was a lifelong smoker of Camel filterless. He used to have a wooden box mounted on the kitchen wall that held a cartons worth and would dispense packs one at a time through a slot at the bottom. My great-granddads were both gone from this Earth before my time so I have no idea what tobacco they liked.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  47. jerwynn

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    "Prince Albert in a can"! That was Grampa's blend... and the cans were everywhere and repurposed imaginatively from my uncle's garage (mechanic) to my aunt's sewing room and every place in between. My dad smoked Mixture #79 until a doctor in the 1960s gave him a scare and he quit.

    “Deep peace of the running wave to you.
 Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
 Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
 Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
    Deep peace of the infinite peace to you." - Fiona Macleod
    Posted 2 years ago #
  48. jimmy57

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    My father smoked Half & Half 99% of the time. He probably varied it some, but not enough for me to recall. My grandpa smoked Between the Acts little cigars, and an occasional White Owl or some such cigar. I began with Half & Half myself.

    A good thing to begin with. You'll learn to smoke 'right' or suffer the consequences of tongue bite until you do.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  49. blendtobac

    blendtobac

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    I never knew either of my grandfathers, but my dad smoked a blend called Black Watch from a local tobacconist. My Hearth & Home Old Tartan is my recreation of that blend (in fact, it was my first "homage" blend). When the shop was a casualty of the drop-off in pipe smoking in the early 80s, he switched to Half and Half.
    He smoked mostly Kaywoodies. I remember knowing that dad had a new pipe when I heard the sound of a hacksaw on metal because he always cut the stinger off. After I took up the pipe, he told me that he bought Kaywoodies because they were $11 at his shop, He didn't want to buy the "cheap" Dunhills, because they sold for $10. If I could only go back in time...

    Russ

    Posted 2 years ago #
  50. dontbeaburleyman

    dontbeaburleyman

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    My Dad didn't smoke. I'm told his father (my grandfather) smoked 5 Brothers from sunup to sundown. Immigrated from Italy in 1918. Farmer. Probably a pretty tough dude!

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    frozenchurchwarden

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    Apparently one of my grandparents would smoke cigarettes occasionally, but that stopped sometime in the 70's. I was raised in a totally tobacco free environment.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  52. mso489

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    Go back and read Russ' post if you haven't. In his childhood, his dad bought $11 Kaywoodies instead of the cheap $10 Dunhills. I'd heard that comparison before, but this confirms the memory.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  53. bluegrassbrian

    bluegrassbrian

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    My paternal grandfather kept 2 pipes on the end table by his recliner; a dark walnut stained straight billiard and a quarter bent black rusticated billiard (could have been a dublin). Not sure of the brand, I never saw them again after he died. Going through some of his things I did find an old bulk 1lb. bag of bargain black Cavendish about 1/3 full.

    My paternal grandmother's brother was the constant pipe smoker. Uncle Jack.. their house smelled of pipe tobacco as a rule. He died when I was around 10 so I don't recall any specifics. My aunt eventually bought their old house. I was over there a couple years ago, digging in the garage and found an old tin of Balkan Sobranie.
    To my chagrin it was empty, but I kept it anyway. Still sits amidst my open jars.

    Tobacco's a help because it clears the mind
    But like all your friends it is vilified
    They always say, the right amount's fine
    Posted 2 years ago #
  54. dottiewarden

    dottiewarden

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    My grandpa smoked a pipe pretty much his entire adult life. In fact he is the sole influence of my own pipe smoking. He smoked OTCs of the day in briars and cobs.

    Dot
    Posted 2 years ago #
  55. checotah

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    I've responded to similar questions, stating I didn't know what any of them smoked. Found out just recently my maternal grandfather smoked Half and Half. Still don't know what my father, his father, or my maternal great grandfather smoked.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    How could the all the old farts smoke that crap? I don't even know if I could smoke if my choices were only Carter Hall, Prince Albert, Half and Half and Captain Black...I might quit. How come they couldn't get any real quality tobacco like Sam Gawith back then?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  57. josephcross

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    I dont know what my grandfather smoked, but my Dad says he was always smoking his pipe and all his memories of him had a pipe in his mouth. I didnt know that my Dad smoked a pipe until I told him I was smoking one. My dad says he is into aromatics, not sure what kind, Ill have to find out.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  58. deathmetal

    deathmetal

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    How come they couldn't get any real quality tobacco like Sam Gawith back then?

    Far fewer things were imported, and they were much more expensive.

    Just like CDs... $13 domestic, $21 imported.

    "My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey." -- William Faulkner

    The Metal Mixtures
    Posted 2 years ago #
  59. didimauw

    didimauw

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    Tompowers: One mans Trash is another mans treasure.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    Good God, Tompowers, you must be a raving lunatic.

    A man who serves his country is a patriot. A man who serves his government is an employee. The two are not always the same thing.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  61. jefff

    jefff

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    My grandfather smoked Half&Half and Captian black. I have no idea what pipes he smoked.

    As I recall he was quite happy and not at all offended by his choices.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  62. tmb152

    tmb152

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    I think the lesson in all of this is that most of our forefathers had far lesser choices of tobaccos blends and of much lesser quality than many things out there today, yet they never felt they were doing without. I never knew any of those folks that had more than a half-dozen simple pipes at most, yet they went on to a lifetime of smoking pleasure that yielded my generation. If we have been living in a bubble, it has been a good bubble, but as my grandfathers have proven, not a necessary one.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    It's 2016, and if I have a good cob and some codger blend, I don't feel like I'm doing without, either.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  64. mcitinner1

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    How could the all the old farts smoke that crap? I don't even know if I could smoke if my choices were only Carter Hall, Prince Albert, Half and Half and Captain Black...I might quit. How come they couldn't get any real quality tobacco like Sam Gawith back then?

    Tompowers: One mans Trash is another mans treasure.

    Good God, Tompowers, you must be a raving lunatic.

    It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    But is it really possible they had no access to any quality tobacco? I think it's more likely they had terrible tastes, as their descendants still do today

    Posted 2 years ago #
  66. jefff

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    This is what happens when parents leave the computer on and unattended.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    Yes because anyone who doesnt "get" captain black in cob with coffee is a child

    Posted 2 years ago #
  68. mortonbriar

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    That photo of the university flake from beerandbaccy, can anyone tell me what the 'mahogony' is all about? its listed with virginia and burley as though its an ingredient rather than an aroma, I am curious since I have not seen any mahogany references in the tobacco realm before, is that instead of the plum flavour it now carries?

    My grandfathers both smoked cigarettes, but my wife's Opa smoked amphora in Canada after the war, not sure what he smoked in Holland prior.

    Tompowers I have no idea what age group you are but in case you were not there for much of it, last century was a little different.

    Isaac

    I don't really care if the cup is half full or half empty, I just want something to sip on.
    Posted 2 years ago #
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    I always thought pipe tobacco was just better quality back in the day. Then I read this, and realized most of it was even worse. https://smokingjacketmagazine.com/2015/01/08/parsing-old-time-pipe-tobacco-blends/

    Posted 2 years ago #
  70. checotah

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    How come they couldn't get any real quality tobacco like Sam Gawith back then?

    Not sure how it was in other parts of the country, but, where I grew up, there were no tobacconist shops. You wanted tobacco, you got it at the general store, the grocery store, the service station, maybe the pharmacy. Smoking was simply a way of life, not a past time, not a hobby, not an exotic fantasy. People smoked because people smoked. Cigarettes (no filters) and cigars were omnipresent, and pipe tobacco was an alternative, but you took what you could get. English, Aromatics, and the like were simply not around, no one even talked about them. This was late 40's, early 50's. In the 60's, those tobaccos started showing up, but only in larger towns. Rural America was slow to see them.

    At least that's how I remember it.

    Posted 2 years ago #

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